Strictly Come Dancing 2019, second live show: Karim Zeroual top of scoreboard, James Cracknell at bottom

The heat is on this weekend because the first elimination of Strictly 2019 is looming.

This Saturday at 6.40pm on BBC One, it’s the second live show of this year’s contest. According to bookies, Olympic rower James Cracknell is strong favourite to suffer the ignominy. He was certainly stiff as an oar during last week’s Tango, finishing bottom of the leaderboard with a mere 11 points – the lowest week one score for 14 years. Dancing a Jive this week, James needs to loosen up considerably or his hopes could be sunk.

Comedian Chris Ramsey was second bottom with 13 points – his pro partner Karen Hauer’s lowest ever score, much to Chris’ embarrassment – but he’s doing a cheeky Charleston this time, which should suit him much more. Also at risk are Anneka Rice, who is overcoming her aversion to frocks for her romantic Waltz, and David James, who is dancing this year’s first Paso Doble, complete with cape-work. 

Crucially tonight, viewers also get their first chance to have their say. You can cast your vote up to three times for free online, while phoneline numbers will be given out during the show and made available on the Strictly homepage while the vote is open. The judges’ scores will be added to last week’s, then combined with the viewer vote. Tomorrow the bottom two will face the dreaded dance-off and one unlucky couple will be sent home. 

With 15 couples taking to the dancefloor again, Saturday’s bumper show clocks in at an epic two hours and 10 minutes. We’ll be liveblogging from 6.30pm, providing build-up, rolling coverage, recaps, analysis and sardonic arrives. Please join us – and join in too. You can email me on michael.hogan@, tweet me on @michaelhogan or leave comments at the bottom of this blog. I’ll keep an eye on them all and report the highlights here. 

Will one of the strapping sportsmen get this year’s sparkly wooden spoon? Nearly time to staaaaart eliminating…